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Complementary Alternative Medicine and Therapies for Overactive Bladder Symptoms: Is There Evidence for Benefit?

Abstract

Overactive bladder is a complex syndrome that can have a significant symptomatic burden on patients. There are currently treatment options available, although these options may have significant side effects that can further diminish patients’ quality of life. The need for effective therapies that have high patient acceptability and compliance has caused many patients to seek complementary alternative forms of treatment. Herbal medications, which are used worldwide, have been shown to positively impact quality of life and provide symptomatic improvement in patients suffering with overactive bladder. Acupuncture has also been demonstrated to provide short-term relief of overactive bladder symptoms, specifically on quality of life, urgency, and frequency. Homeopathic remedies, though not widely studied, have shown to be effective in the short term for treatment of symptoms related to overactive bladder. These options may be associated with fewer side effects than traditional anti-muscarinic medications and/or surgical interventions. Further research is required to assess the true efficacy of these alternative therapeutic options.

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Divya Arunachalam and Jennifer Rothschild declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Divya Arunachalam.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Overactive Bladder

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Arunachalam, D., Rothschild, J. Complementary Alternative Medicine and Therapies for Overactive Bladder Symptoms: Is There Evidence for Benefit?. Curr Bladder Dysfunct Rep 10, 20–24 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11884-014-0280-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11884-014-0280-5

Keywords

  • Overactive bladder
  • Complementary therapy
  • Herbal treatment
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Alternative treatments